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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 113

Sirisena Cooray wins Colombo Municipal Council for the UNP

Colombo, 22 May, ( The UNP-backed group that won the Colombo Municipal Council elections last Saturday is another feather in the cap of Sirisena Cooray who led the campaign of Independents contesting under the symbol of spectacles. The Independents Group 3, sponsored by the UNP, polled 82580 (40.24% ) winning 23 seats while the United People's Freedom Alliance polled 57158 (27.85%) winning 14 seats.

Cooray fought the battle against heavy odds to win 23 seats defeating the campaign of the ruling party, United People’s Freedom Alliance. A political commentator said that the government threw in its full weight behind the UPFA campaign led by the veteran left leader, Vasudeva Nanayakkara. “Only the army was missing in the campaign against Mr. Cooray,” she said.

A Cooray-loyalist in the UNP said that he had to fight a lone battle from day one. He gave five reasons:

1) the leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe was away attending a refresher course in politics in America when the local government campaign was going on;

2) the campaign began with the Party machinery mucking up the list of nominations which led to a complicated legal battle;

3) senior leaders of the Party like M. H. Mohammed was sniping at Cooray to undermine the campaign;

4) other members like Ravi Karunanayake was openly attacking the campaign led by Cooray both in the party room and in public and, last but not the least

5) the Elections Commissioner threw the spanner into Cooray’s campaign by saying that the UNP can’t capture power in the Council by putting forward Independent candidates after the UNP nomination list was rejected by the Election’s Commissioner -

“If you add the mighty weight of the state thrown into the anti-Cooray campaign it was a colossal task for Cooray to win,” he said.

Cooray is now focused on winning the next battle with the Election’s Commissioner who has threatened to reject nominees of the UNP who are due to replace the Independents who are expected to resign according to an agreement with the UNP.

UNP lawyers argue that there are several precedents to back up their claim. UNPers also claim that the people voted for the Independent candidates knowing that they were voting for the UNP and not the Independent candidate who had agreed to hand over the seat to the nominee of the UNP after the elections.

- Asian Tribune -

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